I'm planning a 3 week trip, 2 weeks in Thailand and 1 week in Cambodia and looking for advice on whats best to see, stay and how to get there etc. Initially it was a 2 week trip to Thailand with my girlfriend but now i'm thinking of staying an extra week to go to Cambodia. We'll fly to Bangkok in mid November and stay there 3 nights but then we want to see some of the beautiful Thailand, not the parts full of western tourist looking for their next bacon and egg fix!
Ideally we'd like to stay 5 days in a nice place relaxing on the beach, perhaps doing some diving. For the remainder we'd like to visit the cultural sites. Following that i'd like to take a trip to Cambodia. We're not too concerned about budget so happy to use internal air travel if its the best way to get around but similarly happy to sit back and take in the scenary on a long drive etc
So any useful travel tips, must see places, best beaches etc?
I'll offer a suggestion for the one week you are planning in Cambodia. First, they have some good beaches in Sihanoukville, but if you are also going to Thailand, I would save the beach experience for that country and go to other places during your limited time in Cambodia.
Of course you have to go to Angkor in Cambodia. I would allow for a minimum of 3 days. It all depends upon how much you enjoy old temples. Personally, I love them and find the whole Angkor complex (remember there are over 100 temples in all!) to be incredible and magical. But don't try and pack in too many in one day. Many people get "temple burnout" if they overdo it. Also, with the freqeunt rain at this time of year, your tour plans might get interrupted. So plan 3-4 days in Siem Reap/Angkor. Then do 2 days in Phnom Penh. That's enough to see Tuol Sleng (S-21 prison/museum), the Killing Fields site, National Museum, Palace, etc. I would also suggest doing 2 days in Battambang (located between SR and PP). It's a nice riverside town with a few ancient temples scattered nearby. Very friendly and great rural scenery. It's a nice change of pace. As is Kampot. That's south of PP, and just east of Sihanoukville. Kampot has the famous Bokor Mountain hill station. Great views at the top (you can see islands belonging to Vietnam) and a ghosttown like vibe (lots of old abandoned buildings, casino, church, etc.). In the Kampot area are tons of caves, waterfalls, rivers, etc. Very beautiful area. And the seaside town of Kep is nearby. The beaches there aren't great but they plenty of delicious, cheap seafood.
The best island I found in Thailand had to be Ko Tao (go to Koh Samui then get ferry accross), its great for relaxing and diving, and if you want a fantastic party then backtrack to Ko Phangnan for the moon parties (every half and full moon).
If you are basing yourself in Bangkok, recommend a trip over to Katchanuburi (can get local bus from Central station) can see the bridge on the river Kwai and some WW2 museums. Very humbling to stand in the cemetary for all the allies that died making the bridge as well.
If budget not an issue, would recommend flying to Siem Reap rather than getting bus as roads are terrible and 130km journey could well take 7 hours +! Do get to see some great scenery on the way tho if you can put up with being cramped in and thrown all over the place every time the bus hits a dip in the road!